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A Special Delivery: Mother-Daughter Letters From Afar.

Book Review: A Special Delivery: Mother-Daughter Letters From Afar, by Joyce Slayton Mitchell and Elizabeth Dix Mitchell

Equilibrium Press, $12.95, 877-357-7377

When I heard about Joyce Slayton Mitchell and Elizabeth Dix Mitchell's book entitled A Special Delivery: Mother-Daughter Letters from Afar, how could I resist perusing its pages?

This is a beautiful little book comprised of letters between a mother and daughter, which culminate in Elizabeth's (the daughter) announcement that she's pregnant and the description of her birth. Elizabeth takes the reader through her learning experiences in New Zealand, including how she is self-sufficient, her many transportation issues, and her new love. Joyce's (the mom) letters give the reader a lot of family history, as well as Joyce's tales about her busy life as a college advisor. The story is entirely true.

The twist with these letters is that Mom lives in the States and Daughter lives in New Zealand. Both Mom and Daughter have strong viewpoints regarding health, life, eating habits, safety, and pregnancy and birth, among others, and they are usually different, if not entirely opposite. The readers learn more and more about each woman through each successive letter. Moreover, the readers learn about--no, get drawn into--the relationship between the two and can sympathize, if not empathize, with each. I found that my personal beliefs about the safety of homebirth were questioned by Joyce, not on an intellectual level, but on an emotional, motherly level. I'm sure these letters will have the same effect on other readers no matter what their personal birth beliefs.

Deeper than the story the letters present, this book explores a close, yet unconventional, mother-daughter relationship, as well as cross-cultural issues and the traditional "generation gap" that affects many, if not all, adult children and their parents.

After constantly reading texts, medical articles, and birth references, this book is refreshing. Although it doesn't address as specifically as I had hoped the issues of midwives and homebirths, that was not the goal of this book. A Special Delivery aims to provide not only a birth story, but a relationship story--and it has well succeeded.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Kalmar, Annmarie G. Klyzub
Publication:Special Delivery
Article Type:Book Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2000
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